Ecotourism Adventures in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, Part 3


| 4/7/2014 12:43:00 PM


Nested amongst the skyscrapers and tucked between white-powdery beaches and either the buzz of South Beach or nature preserves in Hollywood are some eco-minded hotels and restaurants offering patrons a taste of local and sustainable cuisine.

This is the final blog in a series that covers some of the highlights of my family’s ecotravel adventures in and around Miami or Fort Lauderdale. My first two posts covered some of the nature-based activities possible both in the ocean and on land.

Green Lodging

Pool Viewing Window Z Ocean

If being in the middle of the historic Art Deco district of Miami Beach, a mere minutes’ walk from the sweeping beaches and the internationally-inspired cornucopia of restaurants, then the eco-chic Z Ocean Hotel has a luxurious guest room for you. With its soothing blue lights and modernist design, plus balconies overlooking either the pool, hopping Ocean Drive or popular Espanola Way, it’s hard to go wrong here.

Their pool features several underwater windows that send flickers of sunlight down to the lower floor and, from the lower floor looking up, a fascinating view of the swimmers above. The boutique hotel’s friendly staff are quick to point out places of interest. When prompted, they’ll confirm that the garbage is sorted and recycled off site -- a true feat (if you’re a regular to Florida, you’ll how hard it can be to recycle a can or bottle in this state). Use of LEDs and florescent lighting and a host of energy efficiency and water conservation practices take place throughout the property. I admit I wished it sported a PV array or solar thermal system on the roof, too – just to drive the point home.



Z Ocean’s spacious rooms, rare in South Beach, are a value for their price. Plus it’s easy to lose the car and walk and bike everywhere. By avoiding a car, you’ll save the $35 you’d have to spend on valet. No bikes, no problem. There are over 1,000 DecoBikes available for rent at 85 locations around town; pay with credit card, unlock a bike and pedal away.



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